Visual Artists Wanted for the “Art Takes the Bench!” Project

ArtsBergen and the Borough of New Milford are seeking three artists and/or artist teams to design and paint murals on three public benches in New Milford, NJ.

Submission Deadline: Wednesday, June 21, 2023


ArtsBergen is partnering with the Borough of New Milford to select three artists and/or artist teams to design and paint original murals on three public benches in New Milford, NJ. Using the arts as a creative tool in vitalizing the Borough’s parks, “Art Takes the Bench!” will expose residents and visitors to the artistic talents of local artists and provide visual attractions, creating more interesting and inviting open spaces. The artists will be selected through a juried selection process.


  • To beautify the community of New Milford by incorporating public art into open spaces.
  • To engage residents and passersby by providing attractive, art-filled seating areas.
  • To endorse arts and culture as a powerful tool to build stronger community and enliven public spaces.
  • To make public art accessible to those with visual impairments.
  • To provide art-based work opportunities for local artists that showcase their talent.


One bench will be placed in each of the following three borough parks: 1. Williams Field, 2. Hardcastle Pond, 3. Sutton Place.

Measurements: Each bench is 6 feet in length and made up of seven 2” x 4” boards of pressure-treated wood.  Wood is pre-primed with white paint.


Each bench will serve as a canvas for a painted mural with the following themes that were selected by the community:

  1. Williams Field
    THEME: Library

  2. Hardcastle Pond
    THEME: Fish

  3. Sutton Place
    THEME: New Milford Spirit

A total of 3 artists/artist teams will be selected. Each artist/artist team will be assigned a bench to design and paint a mural of his/her/their vision in accordance with the themes stated above.

The selected artist/artist team is responsible for the design, painting, and protective sealing of the mural. Artist must be available to publicly paint the bench at an event for New Milford’s National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, from approximately 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

Each finished bench will have a plaque in braille describing the imagery of the artwork to make art accessible to those who are blind or visually impaired. Artist will provide a short detailed written description of their mural for this purpose.


  • Artwork must be original | No copyrighted material/characters.
  • Designs can be exclusively imagery, representational or abstract, and/or include written messaging.
  • Family friendly content, please.


Each selected artist/artist team will receive recognition, design credit, a $750.00 fee, and a $150.00 supply budget. *This fee includes attendance at any planning meetings, the painting event on August 1st, and work done on any other days needed to finish painting. (Benches must be finished by August 11, 2023).

ESTIMATED TIMELINE (subject to change)

Applications Due: June 21, 2023

Artist Selections: Week of July 10th, 2023

Mandatory Painting Event: August 1, 2023, approximately 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bench Must Be Completed by: August 11, 2023


ArtsBergen is collecting submissions of interested applicants. Artists must be at least 18 years of age and either work or live in New Jersey. New Milford-based artists are encouraged to apply. Artists will be chosen by a selection committee using the criteria of 1. creativity of design 2. prior experience with outdoor murals 3. artistic excellence, and 4. how imaginatively the theme is communicated.

Applicants should complete an online application form, and upload the following
items by June 21, 2023 at:

  1. Log into and complete the application.

  2. Upload 3-5 digital images from your portfolio that best illustrate your artistic skills and ability to accomplish this project.

  3. Upload ONE Color Rendering of your proposed design using the template provided below or online here: (*You can select whichever theme you wish as outlined above, though we cannot guarantee artists specific benches and themes).

  4. Upload resume/CV (optional).

  5. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Artist will be notified only if selected.


Any questions please visit or contact ArtsBergen at / 201-568-5608.


About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify Bergen County artists and arts organizations and connect the communities in the region to the arts.

This program is made possible in part by a grant         administered by the Bergen County Division of Historic &         Cultural Affairs from funds granted by the New Jersey State         Council on the Arts.


Please use the template below (found here: Bench-Template-Image.png (612×792) ( to create a color rendering of your design. This rendering must be electronically submitted with your application.